News

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny County election officials have been on a shopping spree, having bought 40,000 blue pens, 15,000 folders, 5,000 clip boards, eight high-speed scanners, two high-speed letter openers and 1,400 rolls of "I Voted" stickers ahead of the 2020 primary.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Planning Commission approved an amendment to the zoning code on Tuesday that's expected to help the city reach its climate goals.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

On today's program: How overwhelmingly white Pittsburgh media outlets cover black lives; day-to-day concerns of rural Americans aren’t being addressed in campaign stump speeches; the Wilkinsburg murder trial moves into deliberations; and VA Pittsburgh wants more veterans to try digital health care benefits.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Councilor Ricky Burgess introduced legislation Tuesday that would adopt a nonprofit group's plan for determining how to spend money generated by a new parks tax.  

Carrie Antlfinger / AP

Pennsylvanians can now apply online to vote by mail, without an excuse.

Bas Slabbers for Keystone Crossroads

Mike Kitsock never thought he’d still be fighting fires as a sexagenarian.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

A lawsuit seeking to make Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses disclose information on predatory priests is getting bigger. 

Bas Slabbers / Keystone Crossroads

Andrew Barrow sat down to dinner with his wife, his teenage daughter, and a gnawing question. What does it mean to be a ‘snowflake’? 

Mark Dixon

The Allegheny County Health Department has reached a final settlement agreement and order with U.S. Steel over air pollution violations at the Clairton Coke Works, part of the larger Mon Valley Works system. The settlement was issued in June of 2019 to address ongoing emissions problems at the plant.

Courtesy of Barbara Burstin

On today's program: A celebration of the life and big personality of the late Sophie Masloff; how ‘cancel culture’ is affecting two Trump voters in Schuylkill County; what to expect when Pittsburgh police make their 2020 'Cops' debut tonight; and how the Carnegie Science Center adapts its programming for people on the Autism spectrum. 

Civic Mapper

When you flush the toilet in Allegheny County, chances are that the waste ends up at a facility just up the Ohio River from the McKees Rocks Bridge.

To track the waste's path from one's toilet to the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, people can use Flush.It.  This interactive map directs users to type in an address that’s within the ALCOSAN service area. After several seconds, a bright turquoise line appears, tracing a flush's route.

Ed Mahon / PA Post

Gun rights activists across Pennsylvania are encouraging county and municipal leaders to adopt “Second Amendment Sanctuary” ordinances to prevent local governments from enforcing a broad range of gun restrictions.

But the president of a prominent gun rights group in Pennsylvania is not on board.

“I personally believe that these things are misguided,” said Kim Stolfer of Firearms Owners Against Crime, based in southwestern Pennsylvania. “And it flaunts the law.”

Craig Mitchelldyer / AP

The new commissioner of the nation's fourth-largest city police force will start work Monday amid a surge in homicides and calls for action to address ongoing allegations of racism and gender discrimination.

Danielle Outlaw, the former police chief of Portland, Ore., was chosen by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney from a pool of more than 30 candidates to take the helm of the 6,500-officer force. Outlaw will be the first black woman to hold the position in Philadelphia.

Marinus Analytics

An international competition for tech companies making a humanitarian difference has two Pittsburgh-based semifinalists. Marinus Analytics and CleanRobotics are among ten companies still in the running for the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has said he'll veto a bill that would give tax breaks to manufacturers that use Pennsylvania natural gas. But Republicans—and a few others—are trying to see if they can override him.

The bill passed with support from more than two-thirds of lawmakers in each chamber. That means if nobody changes their position, members can ensure the bill becomes law. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Authorities say a Pittsburgh man charged in the death of a 3-year-old girl told investigators that that he was sleeping next to the child with a loaded shotgun under his pillow and awoke to a loud bang and found her dead with a neck wound.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

A spokesman for Mayor Bill Peduto says the administration will be sending a communication to City Councilor Deb Gross, notifying her that she has indeed been replaced by fellow Councilor Erika Strassburger on the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority Board.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

A challenger in what will likely be among the most closely-watched Democratic primaries in western Pennsylvania has amassed a considerable war chest in his bid to topple state Rep. Summer Lee. And building-trades unions are already playing a notable role in the Monongahela Valley-based terrain of state House District 34.   

AP

When President Trump ran for office four years ago, he said the government could save hundreds of billions of dollars on drug costs -- if it was allowed to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

This week, musical chairs on the board of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. Some city councilors unknowingly approved the mayor's move to swap out one of their colleagues for another. And, the latest on the trial for the man accused of killing five people, including a pregnant woman, at a 2016 barbecue in Wilkinsburg. Finally, city council discusses how to implement the recently approved parks tax.

Photo by Shayne Gray / Courtesy of Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh

For centuries, perhaps millennia, storytellers have found the devil more interesting than the Lord. Among the more famous of them is John Milton, whose 17th-century epic poem “Paradise Lost” depicted Satan as so compelling that Romantic poet and artist William Blake argued that Milton was “of the Devil’s party without knowing it.”

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The city of Pittsburgh has released a roadmap to make the city more friendly to bikes and other light modes of transportation. The proposed Pittsburgh Bike (+) Master Plan has been in the works for five years.

Jerry Wong / flickr

Pennsylvania’s Auditor General is telling lawmakers that the commonwealth needs more money to impose dog laws.

He’s following up on a previous audit of the Dog Law Enforcement Bureau, a little-known office within the Agriculture Department that ensures the welfare of dogs in kennels and boarding facilities and oversees licensing and rabies vaccines.

Maggie Young / 90.5 WESA

Before the Pirates became the first Major League team to field an all-black lineup, decades of National Negro League baseball transformed the game here in Pittsburgh.

Jared Murphy / 90.5 WESA

A local medical relief nonprofit has taken a step to use renewable energy in its operations. Global Links, based in Green Tree, recently installed more than 100 solar panels on its roof.

Richard D. Kelly / Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

 

On today's program: A festival hopes to spark a lifelong love of reading; how rain contributes to barge accidents in the Ohio River watershed; flu season is still upon us, but the state and local data are confusing; a rock icon is staging a collaboration with Pittsburgh’s Mendelssohn Choir; dinosaurs are taking over the convention center this weekend; and what to expect from 90.5 WESA’s latest podcast. 

Pennsylvania State Police via the National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Thursday on January's fatal Pennsylvania Turnpike crash in Westmoreland County. In the early morning hours of Jan. 5, five people died after a tour bus collided with an embankment and caused a chain reaction accident.

Courtesy of Andy Wincko

January is typically a slow month for Pittsburgh Smokehouse owner Andy Wincko, but this year he said business was good thanks in part to the film industry. 

“When they’re filming, it’s about 25 percent of my business, and that’s a lot," he said, talking about the Netflix thriller "Sweet Girl," which has been filming in Pittsburgh since last fall starring actors Marisa Tomei and Jason Momoa. "I’m basically on call for them. Whenever they want it, I deliver.”

Emma Lee / WHYY

Democratic state senators are trying to pass a resolution that would designate the day after Valentine’s Day as “Love is Love Day,” in recognition of LGBTQ people.

They’ve attempted similar resolutions several times over the last few legislative sessions and say this most recent attempt is hitting a familiar roadblock: some Republicans don’t support the idea.

Leah Millis / AP

In the wake of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, and his acquittal by the U.S. Senate Wednesday on two impeachment charges, Vice President Mike Pence headed to Pennsylvania.

After a Philadelphia event where he advocated for government-sponsored private-school scholarships, Pence made his way to Camp Hill, just outside Harrisburg, where he spoke at a Women for Trump event.

His message to the crowd was straightforward.

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